Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Foreign Affairs, Part I: Putin's Gambit(s)

It's a presidential election year, which means it's time for Vladimir Putin to shake off the rust, get out his old KGB playbook, and muck around in U.S. politics.

The bigger news, which broke earlier this week, is that the Russians triggered some sort of national security crisis. Yesterday, it was revealed exactly what the problem is: The Russkies are at work on a space-focused nuclear weapon, which would ostensibly be used for shooting down satellites. This was leaked by Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, against the wishes of the national security establishment.

Turner's agenda here is not clear. Is he trying to light a fire under his colleagues in terms of sending money to Ukraine? Is he trying to make Joe Biden look weak? Maybe both? Certainly, undermining Biden is a significant element of Putin's thinking here. During the Cold War, building big and scary nukes was a primary form of propaganda the Russians used to undermine U.S. presidents (U.S. presidents pulled the same maneuver against Soviet premiers, of course).

Meanwhile, Putin had a chat yesterday with one of the many "journalists" who are in his pocket, and said that between Biden and Donald Trump, Biden would be better for Russia "because he is a more experienced person, he is predictable, he is a politician of an old formation." Anyone who actually believes that the Russian President would prefer Biden to Trump, raise your hand. Yeah, us either. A little Обратнаяпсихология (reverse psychology) is one of the oldest plays in the aforementioned KGB playbook. And in case you are thinking that, just maybe, Putin was suffering from an attack of the truth, he also said in the same interview that he was disappointed in the interview he did with Tucker Carlson because Carlson did not ask tough enough questions. Uh, huh. Someone who actually wants tough questions does not make a habit of speaking only to state-approved "journalists" and useful idiots in foreign countries.

Anyhow, if we may quote several movies in the horror genre: He's baaaaaaaaack! (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates